FirstMate is a Canadian family-owned and operated company that was established in 1989. The company was started with the belief that pet food should be simple and made of quality ingredients that are nourishing and easy for the pet to digest.
The company’s story started in an unconventional way. First Mate’s founder, Michael Florian, was a commercial fisher. As he revealed that there was a huge problem with the fish depletion on the East Coast and all over the globe, he started the fish farming business Taplow Ventures Ltd., manufacturing fish feed for the salmon farming industry.
Michael’s clients had guard dogs in their fish farms to protect the stocks. However, as it turned out, those canines enjoyed the taste of high-protein fish feed. So the farmers asked Michael to formulate quality food for their dogs to avoid wasting expensive fish feed. So that’s how the First Mate was born.
By the way, First Mate was the first company to introduce grain-free recipes for pets in 1995.
The company’s story started with food for guard dogs, and now its product line encompasses meals for dogs and cats worldwide. Within 26 years of First Mate’s existence, the brand won popularity and loyalty among many pet owners all over the world. The company’s success inspired Michael Florian to launch one more brand of pet food entitled Kasiks that includes single-protein grain-free formulas for cats and dogs.
What Is Manufacturing Facility Location?
From the very first day of the First Mate company’s existence, Michael Florian knew that he wanted to have full control over where to source ingredients and how to process them. So he owned a small plant located in British Columbia to make sure pets have access to only quality and healthy food. Over time, as the company gained popularity and grew, it moved to a modern facility in Chilliwack, located outside Vancouver. Recently, Taplow Feeds purchased a cannery in British Columbia, and this step opened the doors to new product line-ups and formulas.
All First Mate cat food ingredients come from trusted suppliers. Because New Zealand and Australia are the best suppliers of lamb, the company gets this meat type there. Chicken comes from Canada and the USA, while fish is sourced from both Canada and Peru fisheries. First Mate uses Canadian grains, while vitamins and minerals come from Canada and Europe.
What Is First Mate Recall History?
There’s not a single First Mate cat food recall in the company’s history.
What Kind of Cat Food Does First Mate Offer?
First Mate cat food is manufactured following the principle that the best pet food should be simple. That is why all their recipes are made of wholesome meat pieces rather than uncertain by-products or fillers. None of the formulas have preservatives, carrageenan, artificial flavors and colors to ensure your feline gets only natural and organic meals. Besides, wet foods are crafted without any thickeners; thus, they might have a looser texture compared to other canned cat food brands.
Either you are looking for a grain-inclusive or completely grain-free recipe for your cat, you’ll find a perfect formula at First Mate. The company aims at formulating the meals that work great for cats of all ages, health conditions, and taste preferences. There are recipes with chicken, turkey, lamb, tuna, salmon, and other protein sources mixed with fresh vegetables, grains, depending on the formula.
First Mate product line-up includes both dry and canned cat food. So let’s take a closer look at each of the categories so you could get a better understanding of First Mate offers for felines.
First Mate Dry Cat Food Review
The First Mate dry cat food category won’t surprise you with the variety of recipes and flavors. In fact, there are only four formulas to choose from: two grain-friendly and grain-free recipes.
Grain-friendly foods rely on the combination of meat or fish, wholesome grains, and other essential nutrients to ensure your pet gets enough energy for daily endeavors. Every formula is packed with proteins, quality carbs, animal fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to provide your feline with a balanced and nourishing diet. There is a recipe for kittens and adult cats as well as the diet for indoor pets.
Grain-free dry foods by FirstMate are made from chicken or fish meal (depending on the recipe) without grains. They also do not add gluten or peas to ensure your feline sticks to the limited-ingredient diet and doesn’t upset the stomach with the food they can’t tolerate, as many First Mate Dry Cat Food Reviews state. Both recipes are made with potatoes and wholesome blueberries to be the source of carbs and antioxidants correspondingly.
All the recipes are made by using the vacuum infusion system that locks fats and oils by infusing them during the last stage of the kibble manufacturing. Thanks to this system, every batch of the First Mate kibble is packed with the essential nutrients.
First Mate Pacific ocean fish cat food is one of the bestsellers and widely known recipes of the brand. This is a grain-free formula for cats of all stages made without soy, wheat, corn, oatmeal, rice, and other grains that might be hard for the cat to digest. It is a limited-ingredient recipe that provides furry friends with essential nutrients through a carefully formulated blend of products without being too hard on their tummy. 95% of proteins are derived from the fish meal and the rest 5% come from vegetables.
Wild-caught sardines, anchovies, and herring are the primary source of protein. The full fish (including frames and heads) is used to make the Pacific Ocean fish meal, which is packed with proteins. Potato is added to be the source of carbs, while whole blueberries bring antioxidants into a feline’s diet.
Feed according to the guidelines. Since a carbohydrate level is still high, you definitely won’t want to overfeed your cat.
Good Stuff About This First Mate Pacific Ocean Fish Dry Cat Food:
Rich in proteins
No grains, gluten, peas
What You Might not Like About This First Mate Pacific Ocean Fish Dry Cat Food:
The carb level might be higher than you expect
First Mate Canned Cat Food Review
If you’ve been looking for wet cat food that doesn’t include any thickeners or gum, here it is. First Mate is one of those few brands that do not add any binding elements to canned formulas. All wet products by First Mate are high in meat and low in carbs to be the best diet for a true carnivore, and many First Mate Canned Cat Food Reviews approve this food.
There are both grain-free and grain-friendly recipes within the wet cat food category. The product line also includes recipes of the Kasiks brand that has a single source of proteins and doesn’t include grains.
First Mate chicken formula wet cat food is a great recipe for pets with food sensitivities. This is another product with limited ingredients that provide the cat with all nutrients essential for well-being. It features only one protein source - cage-free chicken and gets carbs from potatoes. No gum or other thickeners are added to make sure the cat gets the most natural meal. You can feed your feline with this recipe as an independent meal or mix it with kibble for better taste.
firstmate chicken formula limited ingredient grain-free canned cat food
Boneless chicken, Water sufficient for processing, Potatoes, Minerals, Vitamins, Taurine, Kale.
White chicken meat is the first ingredient on the list and makes a great source of proteins. Potatoes are added to deliver carbohydrates so that your feline gets enough energy for exploring the world. The recipe is enhanced with a blend of minerals and vitamins for the flawless functioning of all feline systems. Taurine supports a pet’s heart health and sharp sight.
Because this formula doesn’t have any thickeners or gum, the food consistency might look unusual or strange.
Good Stuff About This First Mate Chicken Formula Wet Cat Food:
Great for felines with food sensitivities and allergies
One quality protein source
No gum and thickeners
Moderate in carbs
What You Might not Like About This First Mate Chicken Formula Wet Cat Food:
Many cat owners say that their felines didn’t like the food
Is First Mate Good For Your Cat?
After these First Mate cat food reviews, I am ready to say that this brand is a decent pet food manufacturer. The company is dedicated to producing high-quality dog and cat food that is simple and nourishing. All their recipes are made of the ingredients you’ll find in the grocery store or even your fridge. First Mate adds quality protein sources like chicken, turkey, seafood, and some fresh veggies that are packed with only essential nutrients. As the company owns its manufacturing facilities, it controls all the processes and ensures the unparalleled quality of all the batches that leave the production buildings.
First Mate kibble is made following the special technology called vacuum infusion that keeps all the fats and oils in the food pieces. Wet formulas are crafted without binders and contain only natural and organic ingredients.
Some formulas are relatively high in carbohydrates, but their content is still not as high as in budget cat foods out there. There are both grain-friendly and grain-free recipes, so you’ll definitely find the flavor your feline will love. The only issue is that the dry cat food category has a very limited selection of goods, and your pets might not get the variety they crave.
What Are Pet Owners Saying About First Mate?
So, do you believe that First Mate cat food reviews Reddit is the best way to learn about the worthiness of the brand? You’re right, but it’s not the only source. There are many forums, marketplaces, online retailers that provide unbiased customer reviews.
If you are a busy person and can’t browse through numerous websites to get to know about First Mate cat food, don’t worry, I have you covered. I’ve already done that for you and gathered reviews from different platforms in one place.
What I learned from the reviews is that First Mate cat food is a popular choice among pet owners whose felines have some food sensitivities or allergies. Because of the limited-ingredient formulas that include only one protein source and some vegetables, these recipes are a hit among cats used to leave food almost untouched after every meal.
As some cats might be allergic to this or that ingredient, First Mate recipes might be lifesavers for them. With a very limited number of ingredients, these formulas seem to work great for those cats who do not accept turkey, eggs, grains, and some fish types.
It’s no surprise that some finicky cats love fish flavors. Diane’s feline loves exclusively tuna, the flavor of the First Mate brand, and eats nothing else since he was 4 months old.
All in all, pet parents love cat food of this brand because of the ingredient quality, fewer tummy issues, and no threat to the urinary system because of low ash and magnesium levels.
A lot of good stuff is said about First Mate wet recipes. Because they do not contain thickeners, they seem to have too much water for some folks. But let’s face it, when you make broth for yourself, you do not add any gum or tapioca. You just pour some water, and that’s it.
First Mate cat food problems are not numerous, but there are still some. Just like with any other cat food, some felines do not simply like the taste and refuse to eat a new meal that appears in their bowl.
You never know what makes cats love one food over another. Perhaps, they just can’t get used to natural food without any additives that enhance flavor.
Is First Mate Worth Trying?
So, if you have a picky cat or a feline that doesn’t tolerate this or that cat food, you know how hard it is to find the recipe your pet will love and will be able to eat without any tummy issues. First Mate seems to be a perfect choice for cats that need to stick to a simple and high-protein diet due to health issues or just taste preferences.
First Mate cat food has a good protein level of animal origin and is never mixed with soy, corn, or other fillers. There are both grain-inclusive and grain-free recipes that meet different dietary needs. Food of this brand is meant for felines of all stages, starting from the first months to the senior years.
There are some peculiarities in the recipes of both dry and wet food you will definitely enjoy. Kibble is made by using the vacuum infusion system that doesn’t just sprinkle the fats and oils over the kibble but infuses these nutrients into food pieces. This allows locking the oils and fats into every piece and evenly distributing these essentials in all batches.
The FirstMate Cat Food canned recipes are made without adding gum, tapioca or other thickeners that are not welcomed in the cat’s diet. Because of this, you might think that there’s too much water in the can, but in fact, that’s pure broth, the same you cook for yourself as you boil the chicken.
Of course, there might be fewer carbs and plants in some recipes to make them ideal. But compared to other brands within the same price range, I could say that First Mate is a good choice if you are concerned about providing your feline with a simple yet balanced diet.
Once you wonder about First Mate cat food where to buy, let me give you a final tip. This food is available in local pet stores (you can use the map at their website to find the nearest shop). You can also make orders online and get the packages shipped directly to your front door. FirstMate products can be found on their official website as well as popular marketplaces like Chewy and Amazon.
I’ve analyzed WholeHearted cat food to help you make up your mind about this brand and decide whether it’s a good match for your beloved feline.